Editor's Note: This story is a part of the 2020 Elections Issue. The Baro has put together this issue to inform the Oregon State University and greater Corvallis, Ore. communities about the 2020 Elections.

Tamra Cluff Election Reaction

Tamra Cluff (she/her) - president of College Democrats, fourth-year physiology student with an emphasis on crime and justice

Personal statement

“I am absolutely elated. I think this is just such an incredible victory. I think so many people are just feeling really relieved right now, there’s a big weight off of everyone’s shoulders, especially because we’ve just been putting in so much work in organizing the last four years, but the grind especially [in] these recent months.”

Statement as president of College Democrats

“I think a big point right now is Trump’s really failed our country and so with Biden and these more progressive ideals becoming significantly more prevalent in our nation, it’s really time for our leadership to reflect that. So, we’re seeing that this year, and it’s really exciting to see the first Black female vice president. We have a lot of queer representation too, with legislators, with trans and non-binary people. That’s been really exciting, the initiatives that have been happening locally as well. I think Black organizers in communities have led some of the most vital campaigns here. In relation to [the] Black Lives Matter movement, it’s really ignited our country and sparked some of these really tangible actions towards anti-racism. We’re hoping to continue to hold Joe Biden and we will, towards accountability, and his administration as well, as we keep fighting for every American.”

Matthew Edwards Election Reaction

Matthew Edwards (he/him) - president of College Republicans, third-year political science student

Personal statement

“I think it’s good to see that we’re getting all the votes in, I know that pretty much all the states are reporting. I know we’re waiting for the official certification and all that, I know everyone’s projecting. If [Biden] does become president, I wish him the best, I know we should all come together around whoever the president is, once we make sure everything is in, for all the votes. I think just making sure that we all just accept whoever the president is, once we get the official results in. I know a lot of people are saying they’re predicting, but me personally, once the official word is out that he is president, I’m all cool with that. That’s what I think. It doesn’t surprise me, I think it sort of seemed like after the last couple days, it’s been trickling towards him, I wish him the best. I know [it’s] going to be interesting to see how that works these couple of months.”

Statement as president of College Republicans

“I’ll say I think it was unfortunate Trump had the cards stacked against him in many of these states in regards to COVID[-19] by the media and he wasn’t given credit where it was due. I wish President-elect Joe Biden the best as he becomes the 46th president of the U.S. and hope he is willing to work with the GOP on policies to continue making this country and its allies stronger. I hope that the election ends with all the votes being fairly and equally counted so a winner can be confirmed.”

Husein Abdi Election Reaction

Husein Abdi (he/him) - fourth-year mechanical engineering student

“I’m kind of all over the place. I remember the time four years ago in the dorms, when our current president won, I had really pent-up emotions of sadness and ‘how can a lot of people vote for this person?’ I’ve been looking at the data, and I kind of knew Wednesday afternoon that Biden was going to win all their turns, so I was expecting he was going to win so—happiness, that’s the word I’m going to land on right now.”

Andrew Doran Election Reaction

Andrew Doran (he/him) - third-year music production student

“I feel relieved. I feel thankful and I’m very glad this is the outcome.”

Rachel Mcafee Election Reaction

Rachel McAfee (she/her) - fourth-year mechanical engineering student, GradSWE representative for Society of Women Engineers, Out in STEM event coordinator and administrative officer

“I am absolutely thrilled. [This last week] now has been terrifying, nail-biting for a lot of people as we wait for these results to come in. I’ve been worried about if Mr. Trump is going to concede power, it sounds like he has not responded officially yet, as he’s been golfing but I’m waiting to hear about if he’s going to call for recounts in some states and things like that. But yeah, I’m absolutely thrilled that Biden has won—at least, we think he has.”

Justin Foster Election Reaction

Justin Foster (he/him) - third year political science student

“I know the first night was really stressful for me, just knowing some results weren’t coming in super quick and things were definitely leaning a different direction than they are now. It was hard to wait for several days especially to really see those results come out and even now, we haven’t projected Biden winning the election but there’s still votes to be counted—it’s not a sure fire thing yet. Definitely different than any other election I’ve seen, so that’s been a little challenging for me, a little stressful but I think people have been doing a great job of trying to get those votes counted as quickly as possible and I personally am excited about the outcome, and I think a lot of other students at Oregon State [University] will be too. But, I don’t know, I’m still erring on the side of caution just because of how much happened in 2016, but yeah, I think they have officially come out and declared it for Biden.”

Claire Kelly Election Reaction

Claire Kelly (she/her) - third-year psychology student

“Towards the nearing of when they were going to call it, I was getting a little nervous because I was thinking about 2016 and how we were pretty confident and then things went really poorly.  Leading it up to it, I kind of maintained a cautious mentality, but after I woke up and read the news [Saturday] morning, I guess I was more relieved than anything. I really don’t like Biden, but I’m just glad that Trump’s not in office anymore, I’m just glad that it’s just not him anymore, that’s just how I feel.” 

Bryan Lynn Election Reaction

Bryan Lynn (he/him) - intubated biology Ph.D. student, treasurer for Out in STEM

“[I feel] mostly relieved. The Trump administration put a lot of effort in attacking the queer and trans community, right, we had the trans military ban, removal of health protection, making it so homeless shelters can turn people away. Maybe this doesn’t sound as insidious as it really is, but it’s a group of people that often get kicked out of their homes. The military is one of the largest employers of trans people and offers room and board and a paycheck, and if you can’t go there, you go to a homeless shelter, and if you can’t go to any of those places, what’s going to happen? I don’t know that Biden is going to be a huge champion for queer rights, but I don’t think he’s going to go after them the same way, so [there’s a] sense of relief. But also, the race was really close, so that was disappointing for just how close it was. I think it really—for me it underscores the way a lot of Americans treat politics like sports. So if people have chosen their team, they’ll wear their team’s colors or MAGA hats and how it’s the same team they were raised to cheer for. I think the fact that North Dakota elected a dead person is evidence of the fact that people just go down the ticket and check off all R[epublican]s or all D[emocrat]s, and don’t actually think about these things in a critical way, and that’s frustrating.”

Tim Payne

Tim Payne (he/him) - fourth-year agricultural and food business management student

Personal statement

“I think this is a point of change for the country, I’m not quite sure if it’s for the better. I think [Biden] will become president, even though there are challenges, lots of things are being challenged in states for recounts. I hope that he does well over the next four years for the bettering of our nation, but there are things that I have concern over, specifically his intention to raise taxes. It’s a basic economic principle that in an economic downturn you do not raise taxes, so it’s a concern as to what the motivation to raise taxes are. Is it an issue of, I want to raise taxes because people are making money, am I trying to raise taxes [in] trying to spend our way out of a depression? But it’s an economically principled fact that to raise taxes in an economic downturn will only drive us further in the economic downturn, so that is at least one thing that I can think of right now that I have a concern over.”

Statement as President of Turning Point

“As the President of Turning Point [ for Oregon State University], there is an election. The American voters have voted. As a 501c(3) non-profit organization, we did not endorse any candidate in the election. Former Vice-President Joe Biden is now President-Elect of the United States and will be sworn in [in] January. However, for the most part, he does not view the limited government, small government, individual freedom that Turning Point strives to believe. We will continue to do our campus activism, we will continue to educate based upon those principles and we will do everything within our power in the next four years to maintain civility and open discourse through a Biden presidency.”

Gavin Thorud Election Reaction

Gavin Thorud (he/they) - second-year food and fermentation science student

“I feel good that Joe Biden won, on the level that Donald Trump will no longer be president. I am hesitant about his administration and I think that the work is far from over. I think if any good came out of this, it’s that we are now more politically active people and that it’s important for people to stay politically active no matter what side of the aisle you land on.”

Jo Bouckaert Election Reaction

Jo Bouckaert (he/him) - second-year biochemistry and biophysics student

“I think Biden winning is probably the most important thing—not only for America, but for the planet at large—that could have happened. I think if it was a Trump victory we would have seen a very different history that would have been a lot worse for everyone involved, like the entire planet. Trump inherently doesn’t understand what makes America great in the first place. I’ve got to preface this by saying that I’m pretty biased in terms of immigration because I am the son of two immigrants, but I think what made this country great in the first place is immigration. A lot of the greatest Americans, they’re either first, second, or third generation immigrants, and I think Trump believes this myth of American exceptionalism, where America’s the best because it’s just the best. But really, [he] doesn’t get why it is the best, and denying asylum seekers and other dreamers is literally just pushing down what made America great in the first place. And I don’t know if Biden truly understands that either, and will truly understand the stance I have on the subject. But then also if we’re talking about the climate crisis, another four years of Trump would have put us far behind where we could reasonably recover from greenhouse emissions and the climate crisis. But one thing’s for sure, Biden’s environmental plan is way better than any Trump plan.”

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